Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Hey, everybody, and welcome to the weekly column that puts my rankings under the microscope and compares them against the Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR). My hope is to help you understand why I’m significantly higher or lower on players than the expert crowd. Do note that the ECR is likely to shift a bit!

Who am I and why should you care? I was the ninth-most accurate in-season expert on FantasyPros (out of 125) last season and sit at 17th (out of 130) so far in ‘18. Decent, no? I’m out to show that 2017 was no fluke and you’ve got a VIP pass to the show. I'll be examining my own ranks against the ECR on a position-by-position basis, as the overall and flex tabs can simply get insane. I focus on QB, RB, WR, and TE -- feel free to holler if you really want K or DEF notes. I'm FantasyPros' third-most accurate on DEF and fifth for kickers!

Below you will find my rankings and analysis, separated by position. If anything strikes a chord, I’m always available for questions via Twitter: @NMariano53. But enough chit-chat, let’s get to it.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our fantasy football analysis and NFL news all year round. Read our daily articles about risers and breakouts, 2019 redraft rankings, the NFL draft, dynasty leagues and much more. It's always fantasy football season here. Read More

 

Week 7 Quarterbacks - Rankings Analysis

The Jameis Winston party isn’t stopping for me just because he isn’t facing the Falcons again. No, I think his aggressiveness mixes well with a date against the Browns, who defend the run decently as long as the opposing RB isn't a top-10 talent, but are susceptible through the air outside of Denzel Ward. The Bucs are three-point favorites at home with a 49.5 game total, which gives Tampa three or four touchdowns to spread out. Winston projects towards 300+ yards and a three TD day for me.

I also have Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz, and Joe Flacco two slots above the ECR, at No. 8, No. 9 and No. 13, respectively. I think T.Y. Hilton’s return will help a passing attack that Indy is leaning hard on with its ground game still reaching adolescence. Sure, Marlon Mack looked fine, but I doubt he fares well against a Buffalo defense allowing 77 rush yards per game to RBs. Wentz looks incredible out there, showing a strong arm and mobility like no ACL was ever torn. Flacco faces the Saints, ‘nuff said (we’ll touch on it later).

There’s some disagreement within my top-10, but things don’t get interesting until you see Drew Brees outside of my top-12 (No. 14), Baker Mayfield at 17 (No. 14 in ECR) and Deshaun Watson at a paltry 21 (ECR: 17). Brees on the road against a red-hot Ravens squad is far from ideal, so why not pivot elsewhere?

There are very few “must-start” QBs anymore, and Brees is not one of them. Mayfield hasn’t been great himself and his pass-catching corps is questionable at best. Watson only rushed twice for two yards last week with a broken rib and, reportedly, a partially-collapsed lung. He gets real-life points for gritting that out, but no fantasy points. If he can’t comfortably run and has to do it with his arm against Jacksonville then I’m waaay out.

Mayfield will likely draw the most eyebrow raises, but I remain skeptical of this entire offense. The 2018 first overall pick stole the hearts of many in his Thursday night comeback against the Jets in Week 3 but has been betrayed by inconsistent receivers and his own growing pains since. Barely completing 50% of his throws since then and facing a to-date terrible defense that could either turn itself around under a new defensive coordinator or slip further due to miscommunications with a new play-caller, it just makes for a wide range of outcomes that I can’t pin as highly as others are.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Patrick Mahomes KC QB 1 0
2 Matt Ryan ATL QB 2 0
3 Jameis Winston TB QB 6 3
4 Cam Newton CAR QB 4 0
5 Kirk Cousins MIN QB 5 0
6 Jared Goff LAR QB 3 -3
7 Tom Brady NE QB 8 1
8 Andrew Luck IND QB 10 2
9 Carson Wentz PHI QB 9 0
10 Andy Dalton CIN QB 7 -3
11 Philip Rivers LAC QB 11 0
12 Matthew Stafford DET QB 13 1
13 Joe Flacco BAL QB 15 2
14 Drew Brees NO QB 12 -2
15 Mitch Trubisky CHI QB 16 1
16 Eli Manning NYG QB 19 3
17 Baker Mayfield CLE QB 14 -3
18 Blake Bortles JAC QB 17 -1
19 Alex Smith WAS QB 21 2
20 C.J. Beathard SF QB 20 0
21 Deshaun Watson HOU QB 18 -3
22 Case Keenum DEN QB 24 2
23 Dak Prescott DAL QB 22 -1
24 Marcus Mariota TEN QB 23 -1
25 Josh Rosen ARI QB 27 2
26 Sam Darnold NYJ QB 25 -1
27 Brock Osweiler MIA QB 26 -1
28 Derek Anderson BUF QB 28 0
29 Lamar Jackson BAL QB 29 0
30 Taysom Hill NO QB 30 0
31 Nathan Peterman BUF QB 31 0
32 Brandon Weeden HOU QB 32 0

 

Week 7 Running Backs - Rankings Analysis

There aren’t many huge gaps in my RB love, but I do have a few fellows of note sitting three slots above ECR. Kerryon Johnson (15 vs. 18), Tarik Cohen (21 vs. 24) and Kenyan Drake (22 vs. 25) should see lots of work in Week 7, with Drake’s outlook being the least certain. Miami knows it has a steady hand in Frank Gore, but Drake is far more dynamic and I doubt Brock Osweiler’s magic leads to a second positive game script.

On the other side of the ball, Vegas has bet Detroit up from one-point to three-point favorites on the road, which bodes well for Johnson and the ground game. Then there’s Cohen, who is easily outplaying Jordan Howard right now as Matt Nagy and company seem to be finding their up-tempo groove.

It’s easier to find RBs I definitely don’t like in Week 7, as Carlos Hyde is buried at No. 24 compared to a No. 11 ECR and Alex Collins and Mark Ingram are down a modest four slots as well. Hyde is trending way down, with an awful 34 yards on 14 carries in Week 6 as the buzz surrounding Nick Chubb continues to grow. He’s a TD-dependent RB3 for me.

Then there’s Collins and Ingram, who square off as decent flex plays around the RB20-25 range, but most are leaning on them for more. Collins is easier to understand, as he punched in two touchdowns in Week 6 to boost his 19 rushes for 54 yards into RB1 territory. But he’s averaging a lousy 3.6 yards per carry and has nine catches over six games. Worst of all, the Saints run defense is allowing a sick 49 rushing yards per game -- second-lowest is Philadelphia at 59.7. The Ravens are yielding 66.8 per game and have surrendered just one TD to an opposing RB thus far.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Todd Gurley LAR RB 1 0
2 Saquon Barkley NYG RB 2 0
3 Melvin Gordon LAC RB 3 0
4 Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB 4 0
5 Kareem Hunt KC RB 5 0
6 Joe Mixon CIN RB 6 0
7 Alvin Kamara NO RB 8 1
8 David Johnson ARI RB 7 -1
9 Christian McCaffrey CAR RB 9 0
10 Sony Michel NE RB 10 0
11 Tevin Coleman ATL RB 12 1
12 James White NE RB 13 1
13 Jordan Howard CHI RB 17 4
14 Adrian Peterson WAS RB 14 0
15 Kerryon Johnson DET RB 19 4
16 LeSean McCoy BUF RB 15 -1
17 Mark Ingram NO RB 16 -1
18 Matt Breida SF RB 22 4
19 Phillip Lindsay DEN RB 20 1
20 Wendell Smallwood PHI RB 29 9
21 Tarik Cohen CHI RB 24 3
22 Kenyan Drake MIA RB 25 3
23 Alex Collins BAL RB 21 -2
24 Carlos Hyde CLE RB 11 -13
25 Peyton Barber TB RB 26 1
26 Leonard Fournette JAC RB 64 38
27 Corey Clement PHI RB 23 -4
28 Marlon Mack IND RB 27 -1
29 Royce Freeman DEN RB 28 -1
30 Chris Thompson WAS RB 39 9
31 Isaiah Crowell NYJ RB 30 -1
32 Bilal Powell NYJ RB 31 -1
33 Dalvin Cook MIN RB 35 2
34 Dion Lewis TEN RB 34 0
35 Austin Ekeler LAC RB 33 -2
36 T.J. Yeldon JAC RB 18 -18
37 Nyheim Hines IND RB 40 3
38 Frank Gore MIA RB 32 -6
39 Ito Smith ATL RB 36 -3
40 Javorius Allen BAL RB 41 1
41 Latavius Murray MIN RB 37 -4
42 Lamar Miller HOU RB 38 -4
43 Derrick Henry TEN RB 42 -1
44 Theo Riddick DET RB 49 5
45 Duke Johnson CLE RB 44 -1
46 LeGarrette Blount DET RB 43 -3
47 Raheem Mostert SF RB 46 -1
48 Chris Ivory BUF RB 50 2
49 Alfred Blue HOU RB 47 -2
50 Kyle Juszczyk SF RB 51 1
51 Ronald Jones II TB RB 45 -6
52 Devontae Booker DEN RB 55 3
53 Alfred Morris SF RB 58 5
54 Wayne Gallman NYG RB 56 2
55 Malcolm Brown LAR RB 57 2
56 Spencer Ware KC RB 52 -4
57 Chase Edmonds ARI RB 60 3
58 Jordan Wilkins IND RB 63 5
59 C.J. Anderson CAR RB 59 0
60 Mark Walton CIN RB 53 -7
61 Josh Adams PHI RB 70 9
62 Nick Chubb CLE RB 48 -14
63 Samaje Perine WAS RB 76 13
64 Rod Smith DAL RB 62 -2
65 Roc Thomas MIN RB 67 2
66 Jacquizz Rodgers TB RB 66 0
67 Jamaal Charles JAC RB 54 -13
68 Kapri Bibbs WAS RB 61 -7
69 Tommy Bohanon JAC RB 79 10
70 Robert Turbin IND RB 65 -5
71 Anthony Sherman KC RB 77 6
72 Tyler Ervin HOU RB 89 17
73 Alex Armah CAR RB 80 7
74 CJ Ham MIN RB 68 -6
75 Andy Janovich DEN RB 81 6
76 Mike Boone MIN RB 69 -7
77 David Williams JAC RB 87 10
78 Damien Williams KC RB 72 -6
79 Benny Cunningham CHI RB 74 -5
80 Trenton Cannon NYJ RB 83 3
81 Patrick DiMarco BUF RB 82 1
82 James Develin NE RB 86 4
83 Ryan Hewitt IND RB 100 17
84 Justin Jackson LAC RB 94 10

 

Week 7 Wide Receivers - Rankings Analysis

We just covered how the Ravens ground game is apt to run into a brick wall up front, but New Orleans’ passing defense is a sieve and Joe Flacco has shown a willingness to let it fly in 2018. As a result, Michael Crabtree is my No. 20 receiver against a 24 ECR, which is noteworthy so high in the rankings. The Saints' pass defense is 32nd, dead last, against No. 1 and No. 2 WRs per FootballOutsiders' Defense-adjusted Value Over Average metric. John Brown is an air yards darling, but Crabtree's 560 air yards are 14th -- right behind Robert Woods. Don't sleep!

Chicago’s Taylor Gabriel is also up to No. 26 from a 32 ECR mark, as I believe he’s shown good chemistry with Mitch Trubisky on deep balls and has Nagy’s trust in a fast-paced offense. New England shouldn’t ID him as a top weapon to “take away” as they so love to do and Chicago is going to need the points. The Bears defense will surely put up a fight against New England, but I'd wager the Bears need at least 27 points to win this bad boy.

Those trending down are guys like DeSean Jackson, Corey Davis and Will Fuller. We’ve yet to see DJax and Jameis Winston consistently look on the same page. From their Hard Knocks camp up through last week, the targets and air yards are knocking on the door but the volatility means he can’t be in my top-25.

Corey Davis is nearly unplayable for me, as 8-10 targets a week only go so far when Tennessee’s anemic offense can’t sniff the end zone. Will Fuller is dealing with a dinged QB, is dinged himself with a hip injury (he got a limited practice in on Wednesday and appears fine) and goes up against a formidable Jacksonville secondary in Week 7. Yes, the Jags got picked apart in Week 6 but it wasn’t by the perimeter receivers. There’s nothing to like here.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Julio Jones ATL WR 3 2
2 Tyreek Hill KC WR 2 0
3 Odell Beckham Jr. NYG WR 5 2
4 Adam Thielen MIN WR 1 -3
5 A.J. Green CIN WR 4 -1
6 Michael Thomas NO WR 7 1
7 Mike Evans TB WR 8 1
8 Robert Woods LAR WR 9 1
9 Brandin Cooks LAR WR 11 2
10 DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR 6 -4
11 Keenan Allen LAC WR 10 -1
12 Stefon Diggs MIN WR 12 0
13 Jarvis Landry CLE WR 13 0
14 Golden Tate DET WR 17 3
15 Tyler Boyd CIN WR 14 -1
16 Kenny Golladay DET WR 16 0
17 Alshon Jeffery PHI WR 15 -2
18 Emmanuel Sanders DEN WR 18 0
19 Michael Crabtree BAL WR 22 3
20 John Brown BAL WR 19 -1
21 Calvin Ridley ATL WR 32 11
22 Marvin Jones DET WR 21 -1
23 Julian Edelman NE WR 23 0
24 Sterling Shepard NYG WR 24 0
25 T.Y. Hilton IND WR 36 11
26 Taylor Gabriel CHI WR 29 3
27 Allen Robinson CHI WR 20 -7
28 Josh Gordon NE WR 26 -2
29 DeSean Jackson TB WR 27 -2
30 Demaryius Thomas DEN WR 31 1
31 Devin Funchess CAR WR 25 -6
32 Sammy Watkins KC WR 30 -2
33 Keelan Cole JAC WR 34 1
34 Dede Westbrook JAC WR 35 1
35 Chris Godwin TB WR 37 2
36 Corey Davis TEN WR 28 -8
37 Mohamed Sanu ATL WR 41 4
38 Nelson Agholor PHI WR 38 0
39 Christian Kirk ARI WR 40 1
40 Albert Wilson MIA WR 44 4
41 Antonio Callaway CLE WR 45 4
42 Kenny Stills MIA WR 43 1
43 Robby Anderson NYJ WR 42 -1
44 Mike Williams LAC WR 48 4
45 Donte Moncrief JAC WR 47 2
46 Cole Beasley DAL WR 55 9
47 Willie Snead BAL WR 49 2
48 Tyrell Williams LAC WR 50 2
49 Will Fuller HOU WR 39 -10
50 Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR 52 2
51 Tre'Quan Smith NO WR 64 13
52 Keke Coutee HOU WR 46 -6
53 Paul Richardson WAS WR 54 1
54 Jermaine Kearse NYJ WR 53 -1
55 Marquise Goodwin SF WR 33 -22
56 Taywan Taylor TEN WR 59 3
57 Courtland Sutton DEN WR 58 1
58 Pierre Garcon SF WR 56 -2
59 Ryan Grant IND WR 75 16
60 Danny Amendola MIA WR 66 6
61 Josh Doctson WAS WR 68 7
62 Chester Rogers IND WR 51 -11
63 Chris Hogan NE WR 57 -6
64 Kelvin Benjamin BUF WR 61 -3
65 Zay Jones BUF WR 69 4
66 D.J. Moore CAR WR 60 -6
67 Cameron Meredith NO WR 65 -2
68 Josh Reynolds LAR WR 67 -1
69 Adam Humphries TB WR 72 3
70 Anthony Miller CHI WR 62 -8
71 Tajae Sharpe TEN WR 83 12
72 Terrelle Pryor NYJ WR 63 -9
73 Chris Conley KC WR 74 1
74 Allen Hurns DAL WR 70 -4
75 Laquon Treadwell MIN WR 80 5
76 Torrey Smith CAR WR 77 1
77 Jakeem Grant MIA WR 73 -4
78 Damion Ratley CLE WR 78 0
79 Jordan Matthews PHI WR 79 0
80 Alex Erickson CIN WR 90 10
81 Michael Gallup DAL WR 71 -10
82 Maurice Harris WAS WR 93 11
83 Chad Williams ARI WR 86 3
84 Trent Taylor SF WR 98 14
85 Jarius Wright CAR WR 89 4
86 Tavon Austin DAL WR
87 Devante Parker MIA WR 87 0
88 Cordarrelle Patterson NE WR 85 -3
89 Zach Pascal IND WR 81 -8
90 Deonte Thompson DAL WR 92 2
91 Andre Holmes BUF WR 91 0
92 Phillip Dorsett NE WR 76 -16
93 Ray-Ray McCloud BUF WR 101 8
94 Demarcus Robinson KC WR 99 5
95 Justin Hardy ATL WR 94 -1
96 Curtis Samuel CAR WR 88 -8
97 TJ Jones DET WR 104 7
98 D.J. Chark JAC WR 96 -2
99 Robert Foster BUF WR 109 10
100 Daesean Hamilton DEN WR 103 3
101 Sammie Coates HOU WR 124 23
102 Dante Pettis SF WR 118 16
103 Marvin Hall ATL WR 102 -1
104 Aldrick Robinson MIN WR 97 -7
105 Chris Moore BAL WR 100 -5
106 Tim Patrick DEN WR 128 22
107 J.J. Nelson ARI WR 107 0
108 Kendrick Bourne SF WR 95 -13
109 Josh Bellamy CHI WR 105 -4
110 Khadarel Hodge LAR WR 122 12
111 Kendall Wright ARI WR 119 8
112 Victor Bolden Jr. SF WR 113 1
113 Kevin White CHI WR 125 12
114 Richie James SF WR 110 -4
115 Andre Roberts NYJ WR 108 -7
116 Darius Jennings TEN WR 106 -10
117 Jawill Davis NYG WR 112 -5
118 Josh Malone CIN WR 111 -7
119 Kamar Aiken PHI WR 127 8
120 Shelton Gibson PHI WR 116 -4
121 John Ross CIN WR 84 -37
122 Deandre Carter PHI WR 120 -2
123 Austin Carr NO WR 114 -9
124 Russell Shepard NYG WR 115 -9

 

Week 7 Tight Ends - Rankings Analysis

Avoiding the injury-related ECR swings of Evan Engram and Jack Doyle, I’m four slots higher on Kyle Rudolph (6 vs. 10) and also have James O’Shaughnessy up six slots, from 26 into the top-20. The Jags are down Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Niles Paul, leaving O’Shaughnessy with 75% of snaps in Week 6 and a solid floor volume for now. There are worse plays in 16-to-18 team leagues.

Rudolph is more intriguing, I’m sure, as Minnesota is favored by three on the road against the Jets, who just allowed two TDs to Indianapolis TEs. I realize that Adam Thielen is the apple of everyone's eye right now and Dalvin Cook looks poised to make his return, but Rudolph's 87.1% catch rate is well above his peers and his 2.12 fantasy points per target are fifth at the position (per PlayerProfiler). I'm here for it in Week 7.

Those in my “I Like Him Less” column are David Njoku, Trey Burton, Greg Olsen, and Charles Clay. Njoku falls prey to the aforementioned Mayfield shade, while Trey Burton will need to see more than four targets a game before I feel comfortable moving him much higher than No. 10. Olsen was on the sidelines for only one snap of his Week 6 return but remains limited over the middle due to Christian McCaffrey’s receiving work and is a re-injury risk. Clay has an ECR of 18, but I can’t imagine any scenario where I play him.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Travis Kelce KC TE 1 0
2 Rob Gronkowski NE TE 3 1
3 Zach Ertz PHI TE 2 -1
4 George Kittle SF TE 5 1
5 Jordan Reed WAS TE 7 2
6 Kyle Rudolph MIN TE 10 4
7 Eric Ebron IND TE 4 -3
8 Austin Hooper ATL TE 9 1
9 David Njoku CLE TE 6 -3
10 Trey Burton CHI TE 8 -2
11 Evan Engram NYG TE 17 6
12 O.J. Howard TB TE 11 -1
13 C.J. Uzomah CIN TE 13 0
14 Greg Olsen CAR TE 12 -2
15 Ricky Seals-Jones ARI TE 14 -1
16 Cameron Brate TB TE 15 -1
17 Benjamin Watson NO TE 16 -1
18 Jack Doyle IND TE 35 17
19 Geoff Swaim DAL TE 18 -1
20 Jeff Heuerman DEN TE 23 3
21 James O'Shaughnessy JAC TE 24 3
22 Charles Clay BUF TE 19 -3
23 Dallas Goedert PHI TE 21 -2
24 Antonio Gates LAC TE 20 -4
25 Ryan Griffin HOU TE 26 1
26 Vernon Davis WAS TE 22 -4
27 Mike Gesicki MIA TE 28 1
28 Demetrius Harris KC TE 31 3
29 Mark Andrews BAL TE 32 3
30 Gerald Everett LAR TE 25 -5
31 Hayden Hurst BAL TE 27 -4
32 Nick O'Leary MIA TE 30 -2
33 Neal Sterling NYJ TE 36 3
34 Tyler Higbee LAR TE 33 -1
35 Luke Willson DET TE 43 8
36 Jonnu Smith TEN TE 38 2
37 Virgil Green LAC TE 39 2
38 Nick Boyle BAL TE 40 2
39 Maxx Williams BAL TE 44 5
40 Jermaine Gresham ARI TE 41 1
41 Matt LaCosse DEN TE 50 9
42 Chris Herndon IV NYJ TE 29 -13
43 Jason Croom BUF TE 42 -1
44 Scott Simonson NYG TE 58 14
45 Levine Toilolo DET TE 51 6
46 Luke Stocker TEN TE 46 0
47 Jordan Akins HOU TE 45 -2
48 Erik Swoope IND TE 34 -14
49 Josh Hill NO TE 37 -12
50 David Grinnage JAC TE 64 14
51 Eric Tomlinson NYJ TE 49 -2
52 Rico Gathers DAL TE 53 1
53 Blake Bell JAC TE 67 14
54 Rhett Ellison NYG TE 57 3
55 Ian Thomas CAR TE 48 -7
56 Jordan Leggett NYJ TE 54 -2
57 Seth DeValve CLE TE 62 5
58 Antony Auclair TB TE 73 15
59 David Morgan MIN TE 60 1
60 Blake Jarwin DAL TE 55 -5
61 Gabe Holmes ARI TE 75 14
62 Darren Fells CLE TE 47 -15
63 Mason Schreck CIN TE 65 2
64 Logan Paulsen ATL TE 56 -8
65 Logan Thomas BUF TE 59 -6
66 Jordan Thomas HOU TE 61 -5
67 Garrett Dickerson NYG TE 80 13
68 Dion Sims CHI TE 63 -5
69 Garrett Celek SF TE 52 -17
70 Eric Saubert ATL TE 66 -4
71 Jacob Hollister NE TE 71 0
72 Joshua Perkins PHI TE 72 0
73 Dwayne Allen NE TE 69 -4
74 Durham Smythe MIA TE 83 9
75 Chris Manhertz CAR TE 77 2
76 Mo Alie-Cox IND TE 70 -6
77 Brian Parker DEN TE 76 -1

 

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.